Questions I would ask Verizon October 16, 2015 09:10
How much backhaul capacity do you provide to each cell site for each 10MHz of LTE spectrum?
225 Mbps should be provided for each 10MHz of spectrum (75Mbps per sector)to prevent backhaul from creating a bottleneck.
What percentage of your sites utilize Verizon facilities for backhaul versus alternative backhaul providers?
Verizon has a significant cost advantage in the markets where they provide local telephone service by using internal resources for cell site backhaul.
What is your average monthly backhaul cost per cell site ($/Mbps) for the site using an alternative backhaul provider?
Locations where Verizon utilizes an alternative backhaul provider, the site expense for backhaul will begin to dominate the network cost of service. With the move to data, the site lease (average $1500/mo) is dominated by the backhaul lease ($8000/mo). This becomes more painful as you consider the need for doubling data capacity which could then double your site backhaul expense.
How do you account for the backhaul assets that are provided from your wireline subsidiaries to your wireless business? Are there any charge backs or internal bills based upon usage or capacity?
Now that Verizon has purchased Vodofone’s interest, this is less of an issue. However, concerns still arise that wireline assets are not properly valued for the benefit they provide the wireless business.
Are you deploying RRH (Remote Radio Head) technology? To what percentage of your sites?
Verizon has been the quietest of the national carriers on their plans to deploy RRH technology. It would make sense for Verizon to deploy RRH technology for their AWS and PCS LTE sectors so those sectors can have more similar coverage to their low band (700 MHz) sectors. In markets where Verizon is building an extensive small cell network uses their AWS and PCS frequencies, they will likely not use the RRH technology within the small cell network area.